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meteorites auction

October 14, 2012 ❘ new york

Front Cover: Gibeon mask — an incomparable iron meteorite (see lot 49079, page 62)
Above: Foreground — the largest complete slice of the Abee meteorite (see lot 49116, page 90)
Background — close-up of immense Allende slice with oldest matter mankind can touch (see lot 49004, page 11)

Heritage Signature® Auction #6089


October 14, 2012 | New York
LIVE AUCTION Signature® Floor Session
(Floor, Telephone, HERITAGE Live!,® Internet, Fax, and Mail)

Ukrainian Institute of America at the
Fletcher Sinclair Mansion
2 E. 79th Street • New York, NY 10075
Sunday, October 14 • 3:30 PM ET • Lots 49001–49127


Available immediately following the session or Monday,
October 15, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. After 12:00 PM October
15, all items will be returned to Dallas and available
starting Wednesday, October 17, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM by
appointment only.
Lots are sold at an approximate rate of 60 lots per hour, but it
is not uncommon to sell 45 lots or 90 lots in any given hour.
Buyer’s Premium: 25% on the first $50,000 (minimum $14), 20% of any amount
between $50,000 and $1,000,000, and 12% of any amount over $1,000,000.
Heritage Auctioneers & Galleries, Inc.: NYC #41513036 and NYC Second Hand
Dealers License #1364739. NYC Auctioneer licenses: Samuel Foose 0952360;
Robert Korver 1096338; Kathleen Guzman 0762165; Michael J. Sadler 1304630;
Scott Peterson 1306933; Andrea Voss 1320558. Nicholas Dawes 1304724; Ed
Beardsley 1183220.


Ukrainian Institute of America at the
Fletcher Sinclair Mansion
2 E. 79th Street • New York, NY 10075
Thursday, October 11 • 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET
Friday, October 12 – Saturday, October 13
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM ET
Sunday, October 14 • 12:00 PM – 3:30 PM ET
View lots & auction results online at

Bid live on your computer or mobile, anywhere in the
world, during the Auction using our HERITAGE Live!®
program at
Live Floor Bidding
Bid in person during the floor sessions.
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Phone bidding must be arranged on or before
Friday, October 12, by 12:00 PM CT.
Client Service: 866-835-3243.
Internet Bidding
Internet absentee bidding ends at 10:00 PM CT
the evening before each session.
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Fax bids must be received on or before Friday,
October 12, by 12:00 PM CT. Fax: 214-409-1425
Mail Bidding
Mail bids must be received on or before
Friday, October 12.
Phone: 214-528-3500 • 800-872-6467
Fax: 214-409-1425
Direct Client Service Line: 866-835-3243

This Auction is presented and cataloged by Heritage Auctions
© 2012 Heritage Auctioneers & Galleries, Inc.
HERITAGE is a registered trademark and service mark of Heritage Capital Corporation.
Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


Nature & Science Specialists

Steve Ivy

Co-Chairman of the Board

James Walker

Mary Fong/Walker

Jim Halperin

Co-Chairman of the Board

Craig Kissick

Associate Director

Greg Rohan

Paul Minshull

Chief Operating Officer

3500 Maple Avenue • Dallas, Texas 75219
Phone 214-528-3500 • 800-872-6467

Heritage would like to thank Darryl Pitt, Meteorites Consultant, for his assistance with this auction.

Todd Imhof

Executive Vice President

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   3

What are meteorites?
Meteorites — not to be confused with meteors, the luminescent phenomena in the night sky — are fragments
of natural material from outer space that impact Earth.
Why are meteorites named?
Naming is necessary to differentiate meteorites from one another given their differences. While there are
a handful of exceptions, no two meteorites from different impact events are precisely alike. Meteorites are
named after the closest city, county or geological feature in proximity to the place of impact by scientists on
a nomenclature committee.
Where do meteorites come from?
Meteorites originate from asteroids, the Moon and Mars.
Samples from the Moon and Mars?
Samples from the Moon and Mars are among the rarest naturally occurring substances on Earth. As of August 20,
2012, scientists have documented only 150 pounds of lunar meteorites and 275 pounds of Martian meteorites.
How do we know that they’re from the Moon or Mars?
In addition to numerous other indicators, many Martian meteorites contain pockets of trapped gas that perfectly match the Martian atmosphere.
Moon rocks are readily identified by their highly specific geological, mineralogical, chemical, and radiation
signatures. For further information, see the introductions to the Martian and Lunar sections of this offering.
Why are there more Mars rocks on Earth than Moon rocks?
There aren’t. While the total weight of all known Martian meteorites is greater than that of lunar meteorites,
more distinct lunar meteorites have been discovered.
How did they get here?
Giant asteroids collided with the Moon and Mars, launching surface material into space — some of which
landed on Earth.
Where do most meteorites come from?
About 99% of all meteorites come from the asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter.
What makes meteorites important?
Some meteorites contain the same raw ingredients that created the Earth, as well as the rest of our solar system.
It has been hypothesized that a meteorite not only led to the demise of the dinosaurs (providing the opportunity for human life to evolve), but also that, more than four billion years ago, meteorites conveyed amino acids
to Earth — thus providing Earth with the precursors of life itself.
Meteorites brought life to Earth?
Organic molecules, including amino acids, have been found in some meteorites. This discovery has resulted in
the increasingly popular Panspermia Theory of Creation: life having been “seeded” on Earth by extraterrestrial
impact. For example, more than 10,000 pre-biotic compounds and more than 100 amino acids have been
discovered in an Australian meteorite.
How rare are meteorites?
The entire mass of all known meteorites is less than the world’s annual output of gold.
Are there different types of meteorites?
There are three broad categories of meteorites: Stones (representing approximately 94% of all meteorites that
are seen to fall); Irons (5%); and Stony Irons (1%).

4   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

What causes the beautiful patterns seen in iron meteorites?
The amount of nickel in an iron meteorite determines the type of crystalline pattern that will form, referred to
as either a Widmanstätten or acid-etch pattern. This latticework is unique to meteorites, and those that contain
6%-14% nickel. It is the result of two nickel-iron alloys whose molecules have a chance to align into their
crystalline habit in the vacuum of outer space.
What should I do if I find a meteorite?
In the unlikely event you are confident you have found what you believe to be a meteorite after learning a
bit about meteorite identification, you are urged to contact a meteoriticist at a museum or university — not
a meteorologist (weatherman), and not a geologist (whose expertise is Earth rocks). Each newly discovered
meteorite represents a possible key to unlocking the mysteries of creation, and there exists a social responsibility to provide an assist .
What makes a particular meteorite collectable?
There are both quantitative and qualitative factors that influence the value of meteorites, and there are two
entirely distinct meteorite markets:
Samples: complete specimens or representative slices are collected for, among other reasons, scientific interest and pedigree; degree of primitiveness; amount of material; locality of recovery; freshness (whether it’s a
witnessed fall or find); whether it’s a complete slice or partial slice; the presence of fusion crust; historic significance — and more.
Aesthetic irons: this is all about the natural sculptural form and its unique features (e.g., whether it possesses
artistic character; naturally formed holes; a patina which enhances the form; whether it’s oriented, anthropomorphic or zoomorphic, etc.). Such meteorites are collected purely as objets d’art, and can only be collected
if multiple specimens exist from a given impact event, otherwise the meteorite must undergo subdivision for
research purposes.
In order for a researcher to do his or her work, a meteorite must be broken or cut to access the specimen’s
internal matrix. When a meteorite falls to Earth, its external surface is superheated and not useful for research
purposes. Similarly if a meteorite is sitting on Earth’s surface for any length of time, depending upon the environment and the type of material, it can quickly degrade.
Is meteorite collection bad for science?
Meteorite hunting and collecting has been a tremendous boon to science. To illustrate, in 1995 there were
only 11 lunar and 12 Martian meteorites known. As a result of the growth in the popularity of meteorites, there
are now 79 lunar meteorites and 63 Martian meteorites known — the majority of which have been recovered
by non-scientists. For a meteorite to have any value to a researcher or collector, it must be authenticated and
its properties quantified. As part of this process, a “type sample” must be sent to a repository by the individual
requesting classification (the lesser of 20 grams or 20% of the mass), and then the meteorite officially becomes
part of scientific literature following the draft of a scientific abstract, its peer review and subsequent publication. There currently exists a backlog of meteorites waiting to be classified.
The hands-on efforts of the public have mightily helped advance the science of meteoritics.

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   5

Material melting and streaming off due to the heat
caused by friction between a meteorite and the
Stony meteorite that lacks chondrules (spherules
composed primarily of silicates)
Subplanetary body that orbits the Sun and is usually
confined to the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars
Asteroid Belt
Region between Mars and Jupiter where the majority of
asteroids are located
Large “blemish” or crater created by an extraterrestrial
Very rare achondrite composed primarily of
orthopyroxene enstatite
Solidified lava composed of olivine, pyroxene, and
See fireball
Rock composed of smaller fragments of minerals or
rocks that are crushed and cemented together in a finegrained matrix
CAIs  (Calcium Aluminum Inclusions)
White inclusions that are thought to be among the
first substances to have condensed out of the gaseous
nebula from which our solar system originated
Carbonaceous chondrite
Class of chondrites that contains some of the most
primitive known materials, including organic

Enstatite Chondrite
Rare form of chondrite that tends to be high in the
mineral enstatite, a magnesium silicate
The witnessed descent and subsequent recovery of a
A group of rock-forming minerals that crystallize from
A recovered meteorite whose descent was not witnessed
Natural object that originates in outer space and burns
through Earth’s atmosphere prior to impact (not to be
confused with shooting star – a brief, fine zipper of
A chunk of a larger meteorite that broke off from
a larger mass, either upon impact or due to man’s
Fusion Crust
Crust formed around the perimeter of a meteorite,
caused by superheating during passage through Earth’s
An allotrope of carbon that is often found as a nodular
inclusion in iron meteorites
An achondrite that is composed of eucrite and diogenite
Small, roughly spherical glassy rock created or modified
by the heat generated by the impact of a meteorite
Single, non-fragmented meteorite that has reached Earth
in one piece

Common type of stony meteorite that contains spherules
referred to as chondrules

Meteorites mainly composed of iron alloyed with nickel
in a combination not found in terrestrial rocks

Small spherical bodies in stony chondrites that formed
through the re-melting of minerals in the solar nebula

Nickel-iron alloy that only occurs naturally in

Cosmic Ray Exposure Age
The duration of time that a meteoroid is exposed to
cosmic rays in space

An exotic type of achondrite

Exotic meteorite class that scientists believe originated
from the asteroid Vesta

Large, dark, basaltic plains on the Moon
Molten rock whose minerals crystallize to form igneous

6   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Class of stony-iron meteorites that consists of equal
parts metallic nickel-iron and silicate welded together
Recrystallization of rocks caused by heat and pressure,
resulting in a change to the original material
Incandescent event created by small particles burning
up in the atmosphere; not to be confused with bolide or
Meteor Shower
An annual rain of numerous meteors; caused by streams
of particles from the debris field left in the wake of a

Petrologic Type
Scale of meteorite differentiation used for chondrites
based on the degree to which the meteorite was
thermally metamorphosed or altered
Class of feldspar that contains sodium and calcium ions;
common in a variety of igneous and metamorphic rocks
Meteorite texture found in some octahedrite iron
meteorites that consists of a fine-grained mixture of
kamacite and taenite
Polymict Breccia
Type of breccia that is composed of angular fragments
from rocks of various compositions

Natural object that originates in outer space and
impacts Earth

Group of silicate minerals that are found in all stony
meteorites and in many igneous and metamorphic rocks

Prior to Earth impact, a natural object that originates in
outer space; small asteroid

Thumbprint-like impression that occurs on the surface
of larger meteorites, formed by ablation

The science of meteorites, as well as the origin and
history of the universe

Rare nickel-iron phosphide mineral common in iron

Monomict Breccia
Rock composed of jagged fragments of similarly
composed rocks

Classification of Martian meteorites; falls into three
main groups (basaltic, olivine-phyric, and lherzolitic)
based on crystal size and mineral content

Neumann Bands
Fine patterns of parallel lines visible in the cross-section
of some iron meteorites

Shooting Star
See meteor

The most common class of iron meteorite; composed
primarily of nickel-iron alloys, kamacite, and taenite

Silicated Iron
Iron meteorites that contain significant amounts of
silicates and other inclusions

Magnesium iron silicate mineral that is common in
Earth’s subsurface, as well as in stony and stony-iron

SNC Meteorites
Mars rocks; an acronym for the shergotite, nakhlite, and
chassignite classes of meteorites, which were launched
off the Martian surface by an asteroid impact

Ordinary Chondrite
The most common class of stony chondrites

Strewn Field
Elliptical field on Earth that defines the area where
multiple meteorites from a single event are dispersed

Oriented Meteorite
Meteorites that did not tumble during their entry
through Earth’s atmosphere; as a result, these
uncommon meteorites appear aerodynamic; oriented
falls produce a conical shape caused by ablation
Class of stony-iron meteorite that consists of equal parts
metallic nickel-iron and silicate, with the crystallized
silicate suspended in the (olivine) metallic matrix

Nickel-iron alloy only found naturally in meteorites
Rare iron sulfide mineral found in some meteorites
Widmanstätten Pattern
Unique pattern of nickel-iron crystals that consists of
kamacite and taenite bands, the presence of which is
diagnostic in the identification of iron meteorites

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   7

The Macovich Collection of Meteorites is the largest and most celebrated collection of aesthetic iron meteorites in the world. Major
collections containing meteorites with a Macovich provenance include the Natural History Museum (London), The American Museum
of Natural History (New York), The Smithsonian (Washington, D.C.),
The National Museum of Natural History in Paris, the Field Museum
(Chicago) and the Russian and Chinese Academy of Sciences in
Moscow and Beijing. Earlier this year, the Macovich Collection provided the 2nd largest specimen from 2011’s Tissint Martian meteorite shower to the Natural History Museum (London) as well as
another large specimen to the Smithsonian (see lot 49079 for fragment that fits into the Natural History Museum’s large centerpiece
Macovich curator Darryl Pitt is widely credited for having been a
major catalyst in the widespread popularization of meteorite collection, as a result of the meteorite offerings he assembled for the
first natural history auctions in the mid 90s (and the extensive media coverage that followed). Separately, Pitt is also a music executive and manages the careers of The Bad Plus, Regina Carter, recent
Monk Competition finalist, Cyrille Aimee (see page 65), as well
as Kurt Elling and Dianne Reeves — the foremost male and female
jazz vocalists in the world. As a former professional photographer,
Pitt’s work has appeared in numerous books and magazines, and in
exhibitions in the Museums of Modern Art in Paris and Tokyo.

8   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Ureilite — URE anom
Nahr an Nil, Sudan — (20° 44’ 45”N, 32° 24’ 46”E)
On October 6, 2008, Richard Kowalski discovered a new asteroid as part of a congressionally mandated mission to attempt to identify and inventory
NEOs (near-Earth objects) that pose a hazard to Earth. Richard, also a meteorite collector, has discovered thousands of asteroids over the years.
This night was different, though, because when his observations were reported to the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge Massachusetts, an orbit
computation immediately determined that the object, named 2008 TC3, was on a collision course with Earth! Within hours, observatories around
the world were trained on its approach as astronomers assessed the threat — a scenario that until that moment had been the stuff of science fiction.
Never before had an asteroid been observed in space and tracked prior to Earth impact, which NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory determined would
occur within a day. When 2008 TC3 entered the atmosphere, it was traveling at 29,000 miles per hour. When it exploded dozens of miles above
Earth’s surface, it unleashed the energy of at least a kiloton of TNT. A blinding light was reported in the vicinity, and the pilots of a passenger jet
more than 850 miles away reported the bright flash. Luckily, 2008 TC3 was small and landed as predicted in the Nubian Desert of Northern Sudan.
A search of the anticipated impact zone resulted in the recovery of only thirty-five pounds of meteorites — the vast majority of this mass having
vaporized or disintegrated on impact with the atmosphere. In accordance with the guidelines of the Nomenclature Committee of the Meteoritical
Society, former NEO 2008 TC3 became Almahata Sitta, Arabic for “Station Six,” a station stop on the rail line to Khartoum. Almahata Sitta is a most
unusual meteorite, and not only as a result of its grand entrance. It is a ureilite — a very rare class of meteorites that contains nanodiamonds, a
nanocrystalline form of diamond, the hardest material known to man. It also contains carbonaceous grains containing amino acids, the building
blocks of proteins. The specimen now offered is a coarse-grained ureilitic meteorite blanketed with black fusion crust — the result of burning
through the atmosphere. The rarity and scientific importance of Almahata Sitta cannot be overstated. A special edition of Meteoritics and Planetary
Science as well as a National Geographic Special were devoted uniquely to the Almahata Sitta event. 15 x 12 x 11mm (.59 x .47 x .43 inches) and
2.95 grams.
Provenance: Siegfried Haberer and Karin Schneider Collection
Estimate: $1,500-$2,250

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   9

Ureilite — URE anom
Nahr an Nil, Sudan — (20° 44’ 45”N, 32° 24’ 46”E)
From the same event as the previous lot — but larger. There is a wide diversity of material found in Almahata Sitta meteorites. Scientists believe that
the meteorites’ parent body, asteroid 2008 TC3, was formed by several differently composed asteroids colliding into one another in deep space. This
complete specimen is of the enstatite chondrite [subtype EL6] variety. Fusion encrusted, the reverse of this specimen has a pronounced rollover lip
of fusion crust, which indicates that this meteorite did not spin or tumble as most meteorites do when they experience frictional heating in Earth’s
atmosphere. A small sample of this specimen was provided for scientific analysis, providing a window into the matrix of this historic meteorite. 34
x 32 x 19mm (1.25 x 1.25 x 0.75 inches) and 45.52 grams.
Provenance: Siegfried Haberer and Karin Schneider Collection
Estimate: $17,000-$21,000

Carbonaceous — CV3
Efremovka Farm, Pavlodar, Kazakhstan — (52° 30’N, 77° 0’E)
Efremovka was not part of a meteorite shower — only one specimen
fell to Earth. Recovered fifty years ago (July, 1962), the specimen was
dispatched to “The Committee on Meteorites of the USSR Academy
of Sciences.” It is a favorite among scientists-astrobiologists, in
particular. In the late 90s, Russian and NASA researchers used
electron microscopes to examine an Efremovka sample. They made a
fascinating discovery — the sample contained what they believed to
be complex biomorphic microstructures evocative of cyanobacterial
microfossils. A rare offering for the sophisticated collector. 30 x 24 x
2mm (1.25 x 1 x 0.1 inches) and 3.98 grams.
Provenance: Academy of Sciences, Moscow
Estimate: $500-$650

10   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Carbonaceous — CV3
Chihuahua, Mexico — (26° 58’N, 105° 19’W)
Like the previous lot, Allende is a carbonaceous chondrite. Unlike the previous lot, Allende is the most studied meteorite in the world, and now
offered is one of the largest complete slices. This sample contains particles that formed prior to the formation of our solar system some 4.57 billion
years ago. The white inclusions abundantly in evidence are among the first materials to have condensed out of the cooling nebular gases from which
our solar system formed. Referred to as calcium-aluminum inclusions (CAIs), they are aggregates of “stardust.” Allende is one of the few meteorites
to contain such material. In addition, Cal Tech scientists recently announced the discovery of a new mineral found in Allende. The mineral was
named panguite after the ancient Chinese god Pan Gu, the creator of the world, who separated yin (earth) from yang (sky).
It was on February 8, 1969 that thousands of Allende meteorites separated out of the sky and pelted an area outside of Chihuahua, Mexico.
Most Allendes are small; the meteorite from which this specimen is derived, however, weighed 17 kilograms and was among the largest Allende
specimens on record. It was acquired by Robert Haag — the world’s most renowned contemporary meteorite hunter — and remained in Mr. Haag’s
collection for nearly twenty years.
This is one of the finest — and largest — complete slices of Allende to exist. In addition to its many CAIs, this specimen contains rare “dark inclusions,”
the area of expertise of the late scientist Dr. Martin Prinz of the American Museum of Natural History (see lot 49105). Worthy of any major museum
collection in the world, this is a singular representation of some of the oldest matter known. A bibliography of 50 scientific papers covering various
aspects of Allende meteorites accompanies this lot. 257 x 199 x 4mm (10 x 7.75 x 0.25 inches) and 549.3 grams (1.25 pounds).
Provenance: Robert Haag Collection, Tucson
Estimate: $8,000-$10,000
Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   11

Carbonaceous — CV3
Chihuahua, Mexico — (26° 58’N, 105° 19’W)
Similar to the previous lot but smaller, this complete
slice was removed from an Allende meteorite that fell
on February 8, 1969. It contains white CAIs (calcium
aluminum inclusions), the first material to condense out of
the gaseous solar nebula that heralded the beginning of our
solar system, and the oldest matter mankind can touch. 119
x 87 x 5mm (4.75 x 3.5 x 0.25 inches) and 112.58 grams
(0.25 pounds).
Estimate: $1,400-$1,800

Carbonaceous — CV3
Northwest Africa — coordinates unknown
Rare by virtue of its carbonaceous chondrite classification, white
CAIs were among the first solids to condense out of the gaseous
protoplanetary disc. Most CAIs are a sub-millimeter to a centimeter
in size. The diameter of the CAI in the current example, however,
is a virtually unheard of 24mm. With a varnish born of exposure to
the elements in the Sahara, this is a fascinating representation. 49
x 27 x 26mm (2 x 1 x 1 inches) and 72.88 grams.
Provenance: The Macovich Collection, New York City
Estimate: $1,650-$1,900

12   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Amphoterite — LL6
Alsace, France — (47° 52’N, 7° 21’E)

‘In the year of Our Lord 1492, the Wednesday before the feast day of Saint-Martin, the seventh day of November, a strange miracle occurred. On
that day, between the eleventh and the twelfth hour of noon, came a great thunder clap, then a long noise that was heard far around, then a stone
fell from the air on the village of Ensisheim...’
Thus begins a 16th Century document describing one of the many newsworthy events of 1492. The record continues, ‘It was surely a sign from God,
such as had never been seen before, or read or written about.‘ Indeed, the extraterrestrial origin of meteorites did not gain wide acceptance until
300 years later — and, as a result, the phenomenon of the Ensisheim event created a fair amount of commotion. Austria’s Emperor Maximillian is
said to have interpreted the fireball as a divine sign to declare war on France — a decision that turned out to be provident, as he acquired territory
and reacquired his daughter (who had taken up with the French King). The stone itself was brought into the walled city and was tethered to a chain
in a church (which stands to this day) in an effort to prevent it from departing the same way it arrived. Ensisheim is the oldest preserved meteorite in
Europe, as well as Europe’s single largest stone meteorite. The partial slice offered here features Ensisheim’s characteristic fine blue-gray brecciated
matrix. 63 x 56 x 2mm (2.50 x 2.25 x 0.1 inches) and 15.40 grams.
Provenance: British Museum of Natural History, London; The Macovich Collection, New York City
Estimate: $4,000-$5,000

(SUBTYPE 3.05)
Ungrouped Chondrite — CH-UNGR 3.05
Western Sahara — coordinates unknown
The 5717th meteorite recovered and classified from the North
West African grid of the Sahara Desert is scientifically invaluable:
unlike 99.9% of other stone meteorites, the composition of NWA
5717 has remained unchanged since its origins in the gaseous
solar nebula. In effect, it provides a rare glimpse of the raw
ingredients of the planets. The 3.05 subtype designation conveys
that NWA 5717 is among the most primitive planetary matter
known. Only six pounds of similarly primitive planetary material
was known to exist prior to NWA 5717’s discovery. Moreover,
of the tens of thousands of chondritic meteorites known to exist
(meteorites which contain silica-rich spherules), NWA 5717 is so
unusual in terms of its composition that it is just one of fourteen
that have been deemed unclassifiable and designated as being
ungrouped (CH-UNGR). Devoutly sought-after by scientists,
scant amounts of this material are available to the collecting
community. Packed with a galaxy of chondrules, this complete
slice is accompanied by the 2010 Lunar and Planetary Science
Conference abstract entitled “The Extra-Ordinary Chondrite:
NWA 5717” by Dr. Ted Bunch, who recognized the importance
of this meteorite. 104 x 88 x 2mm (4 x 3.50 x 0.1 inches) and
43.48 grams.
Estimate: $2,500-$3,500

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   13

Pallasite — Pal-ANOM
Glorieta Mountain, New Mexico — (35° 36’N,
105° 48’W)
Less than 1% of all meteorites are pallasites, a type of
meteorite with translucent crystals suspended in a nickeliron matrix. In 1965, the renowned “Father of Meteoritics,”
Dr. Harvey Nininger (see lot 49020), befriended a teenaged
Steve Schoner and enthralled him with stories of the
meteorites at New Mexico’s Glorieta Mountain. Schoner’s
subsequent recovery of tiny meteorite fragments fueled his
belief that a large mass was out there...somewhere. In what
was more than a decade-long treasure hunt, Schoner made
dozens of trips to the rugged environs of Glorieta Mountain,
searching for something that many experts believed didn’t
exist. After seventy searches of two to three weeks each,
over fifteen years, Schoner’s efforts finally paid off. This
partial slice is from the 20-killogram specimen found by
Schoner. As Glorieta Mountain is chemically anomalous, it
has its own subtype. This specimen contains peridot — the
birthstone of August. 50 x 53 x 2mm (2 x 2 x 0.1 inches)
and 30.56 grams.
Provenance: Steve Schoner Collection, Flagstaff
Estimate: $900-$1,200

Chondrite — H5
Lost City, OK — (36° 0’ 30”N, 95° 9’ 0”W)
The descent of the Lost City meteorite on January 3rd, 1970 was the first
time in the United States that multiple camera arrays allowed scientists
to calculate the orbit of a meteoroid and delimit its area of impact.
The cameras were part of the Prairie Meteorite Network, set up by the
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. During the array’s decade of
operation, only one meteorite fall, Lost City, was recorded. This is a partial
slice with a rim of fusion crust. 60 x 55 x 2mm (2.33 x 2 x 0.1 inches) and
9.95 grams.
Provenance: Smithsonian Institution / National Museum of Natural
History, Washington, D.C.
Estimate: $2,000-$2,400

14   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Chondrite — H6
Kyushu, Japan — (33° 17’N, 130° 12’E)
Examples of Japanese meteorites are very difficult to obtain,
as Japanese culture treats meteorites as sacred objects and
its meteorite collecting community is robust. Some Japanese
meteorites can only be found at the Buddhist shrines to which
they were offered shortly following their arrival. Due to rarity,
Japanese meteorites are worth more, and the current offering is
an historic example. On June 8, 1741 — a time when the origin of
meteorites was not yet understood — four meteorites with a total
known weight of 14 kg fell on the southern Japanese island of
Kyushu. Their plunge through Earth’s atmosphere was reportedly
accompanied by loud, thunder-like sounds. Thought to have
fallen from the loom of the goddess Shokujo, the meteorites
were collected and preserved for worship in a temple, where
they became part of an annual re-offering to Shokujo over the
centuries. The British Museum of Natural History was able to
obtain the largest of the four meteorites and the partial slice
offered here is from that specimen. With two edges of fusion
crust, this is a difficult to obtain meteorite available only once
in a blue moon. 67 x 32 x 2mm (2.66 x 1.25 x 0.1 inches) and
17.30 grams.
Provenance: British Museum of Natural History, London
Estimate: $4,500-$5,500

Chondrite — L5/6
Malukhu, Uganda — (1° 4’N, 34° 10’E)
Prior to the Age of Enlightenment, the phenomenon of rocks falling from the sky was
the stuff of myth and magic. Among other beliefs, stones that pierced the heavens
were construed to be omens of life, death and, twenty years ago in Uganda: a cure.
At 3:40 PM on August 14, 1992, a deafening explosion made the residents of Mbale
stop in terror. Suddenly, accompanied by what sounded like gunshots, rocks rained
down everywhere. Many of the meteorites struck buildings and even pelted a local
prison yard. One meteorite hit a young boy after ricocheting off a banana tree — only
the second authenticated case of someone being hit by a meteorite. Mbale was a large
meteorite shower — hundreds of pounds were recovered. As this region was being
ravaged by AIDS, many Mbale residents believed these stones were a cure for AIDS
dispatched by God, and many of the stones were ground into a paste that was either
ingested or applied topically. This is a triangular partial slice with rim of fusion crust,
and an olivine-rich matrix adorned with sparkling metallic flakes. 86 x 40 x 5mm (3.3
x 1.5 x 0.25 inches) and 42.61 grams.
Estimate: $600-$800

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   15

Chondrite — L4
Zunhua City, Hebei Province, China
At 4:50 pm on April 12, 2008, a bright fireball was spotted near Beijing. After blazing through the sky, the Zunhua meteorite struck the roof of
a farmhouse, penetrating the tile roof and shattering upon the stone floor. The resulting shower of fragments damaged the room’s contents. The
owner of the farmhouse, who was in an adjacent room at the time of the impact, called the police, who came and collected the vast majority of
material for government scientists. The owner sold a few fragments to visitors who came to inspect the damage to her roof, and this is one such
fragment — among the very best, which features patches of fusion crust and impact scars. 54 x 57 x 37mm (2 x 2.25 x 1.5 inches) and 118.94 grams
(0.25 pounds).
Provenance: The Falling Rocks Collection, Atlanta
Estimate: $7,000-$8,500

Chondrite — L6
Kiambu County, Kenya — (1° 0’ 10”S, 37° 9’ 1”E)
Thika is yet another meteorite that smashed through a roof, causing a mild panic in the city of Thika,
just 40 miles north of Nairobi, Kenya. At 10:00 am on July 16, 2011, several meteorites fell in the
Thika area, accompanied by loud explosions and other sonic phenomena. Multiple meteorites fell,
including a six-pound specimen that landed a little more than a yard away from a woman tilling her
field. The fragment now offered is from a meteorite that crashed through a greenhouse at a flower
farm owned by Syngenta AG, a Swiss agribusiness multinational. A worker was almost struck while
standing just yards away from where the meteorite shattered on a growing table. Syngenta employees
provided meteorite fragments, as well as the punctured greenhouse material, to western meteorite
dealers who arrived soon after hearing the news. With one broad face of fusion crust and a creamy
matrix, this lot also contains a small portion of the damaged greenhouse canopy. 16 x 11 x 5mm and
1.42 grams.
Provenance: Michael Farmer Collection, Tucson
Estimate: $450-$600

16   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Like all iron meteorites, the following six lots originated in the asteroid belt,
but approximately 45,000 years ago they were part of a small asteroid that
plowed into the Arizona desert with the force of more than 100 atomic bombs.
While fragments were ejected more than 11 miles away from the point of impact, the main mass vaporized, creating the most famous and best-preserved
meteorite crater in the world, the renowned Meteor Crater near Winslow,
Arizona nearly one mile across and 600 feet deep. Canyon Diablo (“Canyon
of the Devil”) is the quintessential American meteorite, prized by museums
and private collectors everywhere.
The Canyon of the Devil was true to its name for one Daniel M. Barringer
at the turn of the 20th Century. Barringer reasoned that the crater had to be
created by an enormous mass weighing millions of tons and believed this
mass, worth a fortune in nickel and iron, lay under the crater’s base. In 1903
Barringer filed a mining claim and commenced a fruitless drilling operation
that went on for years. Barringer even formed a public entity to assist in funding the discovery and excavation of the elusive motherlode. Unfortunately
for Barringer, scientists later determined that a meteorite much smaller than
what Barringer believed existed
would possess sufficient energy
to blow the huge hole in the
desert floor 
and would also
generate enough heat to vaporize much of its mass. In effect,
the mass that Barringer spent the
last decades of his life looking
for didn’t exist — but the following meteorites do, as does the
crater, and the Barringer Family
maintains what is today a major
international tourist attraction
which should not be missed by
any reader of this catalog.

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   17

Iron coarse octahedrite — IAB-MG
Meteor Crater, Coconino County, Arizona — (35° 3’N, 111° 2’W)
The overwhelming majority of iron meteorites are prosaic masses — not remotely aesthetic — a notion the current offering belies. This highly select
specimen is from The Macovich Collection — the foremost collection of aesthetic iron meteorites in the world. It features a deep platinum patina
and a natural hole, an exotic feature that undoubtedly resulted from the ejection of a graphite nodule, that increased in size due to erosion over
millenia. A fascinating representation, this specimen is accompanied by a custom armature. 145 x 98 x 63mm (5.75 x 3.75 x 2.5 inches) and 2146
grams (4.75 pounds).
Estimate: $6,000-$8,000

18   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Iron coarse octahedrite — IAB-MG
Meteor Crater, Coconino County,
Arizona — (35° 3’N, 111° 2’W)
Similar to the previous lot, this is a
choice, and massive, Canyon Diablo
iron meteorite. From one of the
most legendary impacts of all time,
this meteorite’s gleaming surface
contains scores of softened crests and
ridges. Like all iron meteorites, this
meteorite originated in the asteroid
belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Accompanied by a custom armature,
this is a strapping example of the
preeminent American meteorite.
332 x 258 x 237mm (13 x 10.25 x
9.33 inches) and 43.284 kg (95.33
Provenance: The Macovich
Collection, New York City
Estimate: $16,000-$20,000

Iron coarse octahedrite — IAB-MG
Meteor Crater, Coconino County, Arizona — (35° 3’N, 111° 2’W)
Similar to the previous Canyon Diablo lots. Swathed in a rich, earth-tone patina with
mango highlights, this pocket-sized, wishbone-shaped meteorite has been honed by
its exposure to Earth’s elements — specifically the Arizona desert — over the course
of tens of thousands of years. This may be an ironic shape having issued forth from
the “Canyon of the Devil,” but making a wish upon a...wishbone-shaped asteroid
fragment...well, you never know. A delightful example of the quintessential American
meteorite. 33 x 32 x 14mm (1.33 x 1.25 x 0.5 inches) and 7.75 grams.
Estimate: $800-$1,000

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   19

Iron coarse octahedrite — IAB-MG
Meteor Crater, Coconino County, Arizona — (35° 3’N, 111° 2’W)
This heart-shaped flange is part of the small asteroid that plowed into the Arizona desert with the force of more than 100 atomic bombs 45,000
years ago. Canyon Diablo meteorites are noted for containing lonsdaleite, carbonados (minute black diamonds) and graphite nodules (see following
lot). From the event that produced a crater one mile across and six hundred feet deep, this flanged meteorite resembles a Neolithic tool and was
catalogued “K, 111. “ Accompanied by an Institute of Meteoritics catalog card. 92 x 76 x 26mm (3.66 x 3 x 1 inches) and 303.2 grams (0.66
Provenance: Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Estimate: $700-$900
Iron coarse octahedrite — IAB-MG
Meteor Crater, Coconino County,
Arizona — (35° 3’N, 111° 2’W)
Embedded in the matrix of Canyon Diablo
meteorites are graphite nodule inclusions.
It was the ejection or weathering of these
inclusions that is responsible for the sockets
that provide the distinctive character to select
Canyon Diablos (see lot 49015). Graphite
inclusions are typically the size of a walnut. The
current offering, however, is far larger. This is a
complete slice of the largest graphite nodule on
record, whose main mass is in the Arizona State
University Meteorite Collection — one of the
world’s finest. It was the monumental force of
the asteroid’s impact (the asteroid was traveling
at a cosmic velocity of roughly 10 miles-persecond) that resulted in its nickel-iron matrix
being injected into, and fully penetrating, the
graphite — a phenomenon richly in evidence.
Exquisitely ornamental, this is an extraordinary
artifact of a cataclysmic collision frozen in
time. 168 x 132 x 5mm (6.66 x 5.25 x 0.25
inches) and 337.8 grams (0.75 pounds).
Estimate: $2,400-$2,800
20   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit


Detail of Spheroid Star

Iron coarse octahedrite — IAB-MG
Meteor Crater, Coconino County, Arizona — (35° 3’N, 111° 2’W)
Handmade by Dr. Harvey Nininger, the Father of Meteoritics, this is a star-shaped piece
of aluminum onto which Nininger glued hundreds of Canyon Diablo spheroids he
collected with a magnet. As was described in the Canyon Diablo Introduction, much
of Canyon Diablo’s mass vaporized when it struck Earth. However, a portion of the
vaporized mass condensed in the upper atmosphere and “rained” back down to Earth
in the form of spheroid-shaped droplets. It was these droplets that Nininger used to
make his stars.
In the 1930s, Harvey Nininger assembled what was, at the time, the largest private
collection of meteorites ever. Nininger was so driven at his peak of productivity that,
in the book Between The Planets (1941), Harvard professor Dr. Fletcher Watson wrote
that Nininger was responsible for half of all the newly discovered meteorites in the
world. Nininger built the American Meteorite Museum near Canyon Diablo, where
much of his pioneering research was done. He recovered numerous Canyon Diablo
specimens following countless surveys of the area. A decade after having opened his
museum at a strategically located perch on Route 66, the museum went out of business
when a new interstate siphoned off traffic. As a way of financing his expeditions to
recover meteorites and as a way of helping to pay the museum”s rent, he came up with
a handful of products to sell. The rarest examples of these products are the aluminum
stars featuring difficult to obtain Canyon Diablo spheroids.
Only 400 of these large stars were made and not many were sold. Nininger personally gifted this particular example to his young protégé: renowned
meteorite hunter Steve Schoner. In addition to the Nininger Star, this lot contains an explanation of the spheroids which accompany the star, and
a copy of the January 14, 1966 issue of Science. The mailing label is addressed to Nininger himself, and a note written by Nininger in pencil
references an article contained in this issue: “Life in Meteorites.” Spheroid Star: 118 x 108 x 2mm (4.66 x 4.25 x 0.1 inches).
Provenance of Nininger Star: The Steve Schoner Collection, Flagstaff
Provenance of Nininger’s copy of Science: Falling Rocks Collection, Atlanta
Estimate: $1,500-$2,000

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   21

Pallasite — PMG
Magadan District, Russia — (62° 54’N, 152° 26’E)
Recovered in Siberia, this is what most weathered iron meteorites look like: the
kind of thing you might walk past without a second thought. (To see what a
freshly fallen iron meteorite looks like, see lot 49063. For more on Seymchan, see
lot 49024). Nonetheless, this is a complete meteorite with asteroid belt lineage
that, if cut, would reveal the crystalline pattern nearly identical to that of the
following lot. 121 x 94 x 82mm (4.75 x 3.75 x 3.25 inches) and 2654.6 grams
(5.75 pounds).
Estimate: $1,500-$2,250

Pallasite — PMG
Magadan District, Russia — (62° 54’N, 152° 26’E)
This free-standing sculptural end piece reveals the attributes of the
internal structure and external features of a Seymchan iron meteorite.
The intricate internal latticework seen here is the crystalline pattern of
the alloys that comprise a meteorite (see lot 49036 for explanation). The
external surface was cleaned, resulting in a more lustrous experience
than the natural patina seen in the previous lot. 177 x 202 x 89mm (7 x
8 x 3.5 inches) and 7.375 kilograms (16.25 pounds).
Estimate: $2,000-$3,000

Pallasite — PMG
Magadan District, Russia — (62° 54’N, 152° 26’E)
As previously described, most Seymchan meteorites are non-descript
masses until they are cut to reveal their internal splendor. Some Seymchan
meteorites contain olivine crystals, although most do not. This sphere
originated from a seemingly prosaic Seymchan mass. To make a sphere
of this size requires a mass nearly three times that of the sphere, as large
amounts of material are lost during the grinding and polishing processes.
Only after the needs of research institutions are addressed does the luxury
exist to create the compelling presentation of a sphere, and Seymchan
is one of the larger meteorite events on record. With crystals of olivine
suspended in its nickel iron matrix, this is a select example. 60 x 60 x
60mm (2.33 x 2.33 x 2.33 inches) and 548.4 grams (1.25 pounds).
Estimate: $4,000-$5,000
22   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Pallasite — PMG
Magadan District, Russia — (62° 54’N, 152° 26’E)
This unusually shaped iron meteorite was found in the Magadan district of Siberia — the location of Stalin’s infamous gulags. The first two masses
were found in a streambed by geologists in the 1960s. Identified as meteorites, they were named Seymchan after a nearby village and classified
as members of the rare IIE subgroup. In 2004, additional expeditions to Seymchan resulted in the recovery of many additional specimens — some
weighing more than a ton. Seymchan was reclassified as a pallasite, as 20% of Seymchan specimens contain crystalline olivine (see previous lot).
Seymchan meteorites also contain high levels of iridium, the second densest and most corrosion-resistant element.
While most Seymchan iron meteorites are shapeless, non-aesthetic lumps of nickel-iron, this is not the case with the current offering, which bears a
striking semblance to an anvil. The flat surface is the result of this meteorite splitting along its crystalline plane. If cut, it would reveal the gorgeous
otherworldly latticework of its octahedral crystalline alloys (see lot 49022) — but that is a fate that should never befall this uniquely striking example
of an iron meteorite. From the Macovich Collection — the finest collection of aesthetic iron meteorites in the world. 345 x 232 x 229mm (13.66 x
9.25 x 9 inches) and 52.39 kg (115.5 pounds).
Estimate: $16,000-$20,000

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   23

Pallasite — PMG
Atacama Desert, Chile — (24° 12’ 12”S, 68° 48’ 24”W)
As a result of their sheer beauty, pallasites are the most sought after meteorites. Named after 18th Century scientist Peter Pallas (an honor Pallas is
fortunate to have received, as he never accepted the fact that the strange boulder he found originated from outer space), pallasites are exceedingly
rare, comprising less than 1% of all known meteorites. This superlative complete slice, bordered with fusion crust (the outer crust of a meteorite, a
result of its fiery descent through the Earth’s atmosphere), boasts a sparkling mosaic of crystalline olivine in a nickel-iron matrix. Imilac specimens
occasionally contain gem-quality olivine or peridot (the birthstone of August), and such is the case with this complete slice. Found in Chile’s
Atacama Desert, the driest and highest desert on Earth, the source material is now thoroughly exhausted. It is now difficult to obtain complete slices
of what is inarguably the most resplendent extraterrestrial material known to exist — and this is a dazzling example. This specimen was cut from the
end piece offered two lots hence. 259 x 229 x 3mm (10.25 x 9.0 x 0.1 inches) and 753.62 grams (1.66 pounds).
Provenance: The Macovich Collection, New York City
Estimate: $16,000-$19,000
24   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Pallasite — PMG
Atacama Desert, Chile — (24° 12’ 12”S, 68° 48’ 24”W)
Similar to the previous lot, this partial slice is loaded with olivine and features one rim of fusion crust. This specimen also boasts a special earthly
provenance: it originates from the main mass of Imilac (the largest specimen recovered), which also happens to have been a centerpiece of the
Meteorite Hall at the British Museum of Natural History (since renamed the Natural History Museum). 103 x 185 x 3mm (4 x 7.25 x 0.1 inches)
and 163.73 grams (0.33 pounds).
Provenance: Natural History Museum, London
Estimate: $4,000-$5,000

Reverse Side of Lot #49027 on the Following Page

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   25

Pallasite — PMG
Atacama Desert, Chile — (24° 12’ 12”S, 68° 48’ 24”W)
Similar to the previous two lots, this is a large Imilac end piece recovered in Chile. It is also the meteorite from which lot 49025 was sliced, and is
more massive than the Imilac specimens in many of the most renowned meteorite collections in the world: it’s larger than the Imilacs at the Museums
of Natural History in Paris and Vienna, as well as those at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow and the American Museum of Natural History in
New York. Like all pallasitic meteorites, this meteorite originated from the mantle-core boundary of a planetary body that broke apart during the
formation of our solar system (the remnants of which comprise much of the asteroid belt). The crystals seen here are the result of small chunks of
the stony mantle falling into, and becoming suspended in, portions of the liberated molten nickel-iron core. These chunks then crystallized during
a cooling process that required more than one million years.
Cut and polished to a mirror finish, the lustrous metallic matrix features crystals of gleaming olivine and peridot that range in hues from chartreuse
to amber. The reverse is bathed in a milk chocolate hued patina studded with crystals and pockets where crystals melted out of the matrix during
the meteorite’s descent to Earth. Part of a meteorite shower that thousands of years ago descended onto Chile’s Atacama Desert — the highest desert
in the world — this meteorite was deaccessioned by a Chilean Museum in an exchange with Cecil Eisler. A prestigious addition to any collection.
241 x 204 x 128mm (9.5 x 8 x 5 inches) and 9.75 kg (21.5 pounds).
Estimate: $85,000-$110,000

26   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

PAL — Pallasite
Atacama Desert, Chile — (24° 12’ 12”S, 68° 48’ 24”W)
Strikingly beautiful, pallasitic meteorites are the most soughtafter meteorites, and this end piece amply reveals why
specimens of Imilac are among the most coveted. All pallasitic
meteorites — less than 1% of all meteorites — originate from
the boundary between the stony mantle and molten iron core
of a planetary body that broke apart during the formation
of our solar system (whose remnants today are collectively
referred to as the asteroid belt). Nothing naturally occurs on
Earth that resembles this material. The olivine crystals seen
here are the result of small chunks of stony mantle becoming
suspended in molten nickel-iron which slowly cooled and
crystallized over a million years in the vacuum of outer
space. Imilac occasionally contains — as does this dazzling
example — gem-quality olivine or peridot, the birthstone
of August.
Imilac meteorite specimens are showcased in the world’s
greatest natural history museums and it’s not difficult to see
why. The example offered here provides a fascinating display
of the interior and exterior surfaces of this exotic meteorite
found in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Cut and polished to a
mirror finish, gleaming olivine crystals in hues ranging from
chartreuse to orange are scattered throughout a lustrous
metallic matrix. The reverse is bathed in a milk chocolate
hued patina studded with persimmons colored crystals with
voids and pockets where crystals had melted-out of the matrix
during the meteorite’s blazing rush to Earth. With a Macovich Collection provenance, this is a dramatic example of the interior and exterior of an
exquisite meteorite; compelling from any angle in any orientation. 133 x 97 x 13 mm (5.25 x 3.8 x 0.5 inches) and 398.3 grams (0.9 pounds).
Estimate: $4,250-$5,500
Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   27

Pallasite — PMG
Atacama Desert, Chile — (24° 12’ 12”S, 68° 48’ 24”W)
Long considered one of the most beautiful pallasites in the world,
Imilac, like all pallasites, originated from the mantle-core boundary
of the planetoid whose fragments comprise our asteroid belt. This
complete fragment was recovered from its resting place in the Atacama
Desert — the driest and highest in the world. This animated specimen
displays a beauty characterized by the ornate crenellations and toasted
yellow pockets where olivine crystals were blasted out by the elements
over the centuries. An enchanting example of this famous pallasite. 51
x 46 x 18mm (2.0 x 1.75 x 0.75 inches) and 65.81 grams (0.1 pounds).
Estimate: $1,000-$1,500

Aubrite — AUB
Uttar Pradesh, India — (26° 47’N, 82° 50’E)
Aubrites are sought after by researchers and collectors, and both will
clamor for this offering. Bustee’s fall to Earth on December 2, 1852,
was one of only 9 witnessed aubrite falls, placing it on a storied list
that includes some of the most famous meteorites known: Aubres,
Cumberland Falls, Khor Temeki, Bishopville, Mayo Belwa, Norton
County, and Pena Blanca. Making it more distinguished still, only 1.6
kilograms of Bustee were ever recovered. Like all aubrites, Bustee is
composed primarily of enstatite and appears to have originated in
asteroid 3103 Eger, a near-Earth asteroid that spectroscopically bears a
striking semblance to aubrites. 3103 Eger is the only asteroid other than
Vesta that can be identified as the parent body for specific meteorites.
Meteorites from Vesta commence at lot 49094. 30 x 27 x 1mm (1.25 x
1 x 0.1 inches) and 1.5 grams.
Provenance: Finnish Geological Museum, Helsinki
Estimate: $1,500-$2,000

Iron — UNGR
East Uweinat Desert, Egypt — (22° 1’ 6”N,
26° 5’ 16”E)
Gebil Kamil meteorites were first found in
Egypt in 2009 by a team of Italian and Egyptian
scientists after a review of Google Earth images
revealed an unusual crater in the Uweinat
Desert in southwestern Egypt. This is the first
and only time that Google imagery resulted
in the recovery of meteorites. It is estimated
that the Gebil Kamil impact event occurred
approximately 5,000 years ago. As Gebil
Kamil does not fit into any of the established
compositional groups of iron meteorites, it has
the distinction of being ungrouped. Now offered is a highly sculptural example
that evokes a fireball in flight, accompanied by a complete slice that reveals
the meteorite’s internal structure. Please note that the border of the complete
slice was masked off during the etching process in the tradition of iron meteorite
preparation at the turn of the 20th Century. Complete: 78 x 55 x 19mm (3 x 2.2
x 0.75 inches) and 257.1 grams (0.5 pounds). Slice: 57 x 34 x 3mm (2.25 x 1.33
x 0.1 inches) and 34.9 grams.
Estimate: $1,800-$2,200
28   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Pallasite — PAL
Fukang, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region — (44° 26’N, 87° 38’E)
Like Imilac (lots 49025-49029) and Springwater (lot 49088), Fukang is a pallasite — the most alluring of all meteorites — which represent less
than 1% of all of all meteorites known to exist. The olivine crystals found in Fukang are large and angular and, like Imilac, highly transparent. This
partial slice comes from the one-ton meteorite that was discovered in 2000 in China’s Gobi Desert near the town of Fukang. Exhibiting the large,
unusually transparent Peridot crystals prized by collectors and jewelers, this is a select partial slice of a meteorite containing rarely encountered
extraterrestrial gemstones. (To learn about pallasite formation, see lot 49027.) 128 x 115 x 4mm (5.0 x 4.5 x 0.2 inches) and 244.6 grams
(0.5 pounds).
Estimate: $5,500-$7,000

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   29

Pallasite — PAL
Fukang, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region — (44° 26’N, 87° 38’E)
This sculpture was fashioned from the legendary Fukang meteorite recovered in China’s Gobi Desert. The material from which this piece was
rendered, unadulterated Fukang matrix, is the most resplendent of any extraterrestrial substance known. Comprised of approximately 50% olivine
and peridot crystals suspended in 50% nickel-iron, pallasitic meteorites originated from the mantle-core boundary of a large planetary body
between Mars and Jupiter that broke apart during the formation of the solar system. The native mosaic of extraterrestrial gems embedded in polished
matrix contrasts vividly with the clean lines delimiting its form. With resplendently refractive multi-hued olivine crystals, this will be a centerpiece
of any room it inhabits. Fashioned by meteorite hunter and preparator Keith Jenkerson. 215 x 169 x 56mm (8.5 x 6.66 x 2.2 inches) and 8.558
kilograms (18.85 pounds).
This specimen is featured in the October 2012 issue of The Robb Report.
Estimate: $100,000-$120,000

30   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Chondrite — L5
Trujillo, Venezuela — (9° 19’ 0”N, 70° 37’ 42”W)
Unlike the close calls of meteorites that nearly struck someone (see lots 49013,
49014 and 49103), Valera is the only meteorite to have found its mark. On
the evening of October 15, 1972 — exactly forty years before the date of this
auction — farmhands in Trujillo, Venezuela were startled by an inexplicable sonic
boom. The next morning a large, unusual rock was found alongside a cow’s
carcass — the neck and clavicle of which had been pulverized. It was clear to the
owner of the farm, physician Argimiro Gonzalez, what had occurred; it seemed
natural to him that falling rocks would occasionally result in deaths, and the small
boulder was ultimately set aside and used as a doorstop. Years later scientists
confirmed what Dr. Gonzalez had long presumed — the boulder was, in fact,
a meteorite. What Dr. Gonzalez didn’t know was that this was the first — and
to this day the only — documented fatality from a meteorite impact. This partial
slice of Valera has one polished face and a richly hued variegated matrix chock
full of chondrules (spherical inclusions of silica) and decorative metallic grains
scattered throughout — characteristics diagnostic in the identification of stone
meteorites. An official notarized affidavit that describes the events surrounding
Valera’s impact accompanies this offering. 49 x 57 x 3mm (2 x 2.25 x 0.1 inches)
and 18.4 grams.
Estimate: $500-$650

Iron fine octahedrite — IVA
Northern Sweden — (67° 48’N, 23° 6’E)
First discovered in 1906, Muonionalusta meteorites are something of a mystery. Believed to have
fallen tens of thousands of years ago, searches for
an impact structure have been in vain. Despite
this, the remote area of northern Sweden above
the Arctic Circle has yielded some impressive
finds. Current conjecture is that the meteorites
are glacial erratics transported from their original,
ancient strewn field. Muonionalusta is the first
meteorite discovered to contain the mineral
stishovite, a rare and extremely hard polymorph
of quartz that requires the pressure from the
hypervelocity of an asteroid impact in order to
form. When sliced and etched, Muonionalusta
also displays the classic Widmanstätten pattern of
a fine octahedral iron meteorite (see following two
lots), an unearthly metallic grid in shimmering
shades of gray and silver.
While most masses recovered of Muonionalusta
are egg-shaped, having been ground down by
glacial transport, this specimen is a striking,
triangular shape. Discovered on the awardwinning Science Channel adventure series,
“Meteorite Men,” this meteorite is the largest
and most attractive of four specimens recovered
by hunters Geoff Notkin & Steve Arnold over the
course of two televised expeditions. Featured on
the cover of Notkin’s book, “Meteorite Hunting: How to Find Treasure from Space,” this specimen is accompanied by a signed copy of the book
with a DVD of the broadcast episodes. 283 x 289 x 124mm (11.25 x 11.33 x 5 inches) and 30.2 kilograms (66.5 pounds).
Provenance: The Geoff Notkin Collection, Tucson, Arizona
Estimate: $7,000-$9,000
Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   31

Iron fine octahedrite — IVA
Northern Sweden — (67° 48’N, 23° 6’E)
This cube of a Muonionalusta specimen
exhibits a meteorite’s shimmering crystalline
fingerprint in three dimensions. This
specimen was cut from a larger meteorite and
machined into a perfect cube. The latticework
displayed here is only found in select iron
meteorites. When the planetary body from
which this meteorite originated broke apart
billions of years ago, its hot metallic core
found few molecules in the vacuum of space
to which it could transfer its heat. That and its
massive size provided sufficient time — more
than a million years — for molecules of the
alloys kamacite and taenite to form their
octahedral crystalline habit. In effect, the
molten iron crystallized very, very slowly in
the absolute cold of deep space. As there is no
environment other than the vacuum of space
that can provide such an extended cooling
curve, the presence of this pattern, known
as a Widmanstätten pattern, is diagnostic in
the identification of an iron meteorite, and
different meteorites have different patterns
(see lots 49022, 49106, 49111, 49114 and
49115). A splendid, decorative example
of an extraordinary phenomenon. 90 x 90
x 90mm (3.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches) and 5.66
kilograms (12.5 pounds).
Estimate: $6,000-$7,000

Iron fine octahedrite — IVA
Northern Sweden — (67° 48’N, 23° 6’E)
Similar to the previous lot. Exhibiting a Muonionalusta meteorite’s crystalline
habit in three dimensions. 59 x 59 x 59mm (2.33 x 2.33 x 2.33 inches) and
1730.4 grams (3.8 pounds).
Estimate: $2,000-$2,600

32   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

A nomenclature system for meteorites was devised so that the composition of different meteorites could be analyzed and compared
without confusion. So meteorites are named after the place where
they fall, and the official names are decided upon by a group of
scientists on the Meteoritical Society’s Nomenclature Committee.
Meteorites are named after a village, city, county or any other distinctive geological feature (e.g., river, mountain, stream, etc.). In remote parts of Australia, some meteorites are named after the closest
sheep station. And when found in the world’s great deserts, where
there aren’t many geological features to speak of, meteorites are
numbered with reference to a large locality. For example, NWA
5000 is the 5000th meteorite to have been recovered and classified
in the North West African grid of the Sahara Desert, DaG 1058 is
the 1058th meteorite recovered and classified in the Dar al Gani
sector of Libya, and so on.

Classification Unknown [density consistent with H chondrites]
The Sahara Desert, near the Moroccan/Algerian Border
Oriented meteorites are rare and occur only when the mass of a meteorite
is distributed in such a way that it maintains the same vertical axis of
orientation throughout its descent to Earth. Unlike 99.9% of all meteorites,
oriented meteorites don’t tumble as frictional heating commences in the
thermosphere, seventy miles above Earth’s surface. Oriented meteorites
were extensively studied by rocket scientists, inspiring the atmospheric
reentry technology of nuclear weapons and, later, the heat shield design
for the first manned space capsules. The parabola seen here is the angle
at which heat is most efficiently deflected away from a falling body and
was emulated in the heat shield design of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo
capsules. As an oriented meteorite plunges through the atmosphere,
a low-pressure zone forms on its far side, which results in melting and
boiling — a phenomenon evident on the reverse of the specimen now
offered. Recovered by desert nomads and featuring a naturally sandblasted
desert varnish, this is an extremely well-balanced rock from space. (See
lot 49119 for an example of an oriented iron meteorite). 45 x 56 x 21mm
(1.75 x 2.25 x 0.75 inches) and 90.9 grams.
Estimate: $500-$650

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   33

Classification Unknown
The Sahara Desert, near the Moroccan/Algerian Border — coordinates unknown
Similar to the previous lot, this is also a rare, oriented meteorite recovered from the Sahara, but it experienced something more of a stable, angular
glide to Earth, and its appearance is far more dynamic as a result.
Meteorites from the Sahara were a tremendous rarity prior to the late 1990s. This is no longer the case. The single largest catalyst to the increased
recovery of meteorites occurred in 1995 with the first natural history auction and the extensive international media coverage thereof. Said natural
history expert Henry Galiano, “News of the prices attained by meteorites at auction in the mid-nineties made its way across the ocean and
motivated legions of new meteorite hunters, primarily from Germany and France, to explore the Sahara in search of more material.” Some hunters
enlisted the local Berber communities to search on their behalf. As a result, several thousand stone meteorites have been recovered in the past
decade — including dozens of different meteorites from the Moon and Mars — which has provided a major boon to science.
The proof of this meteorite’s orientation is the presence of elongated thumbprints on one face and an absence of the same on the reverse. Blanketed
in a naturally sandblasted patina of deep chocolate, this splendid, highly appealing meteorite is accompanied by a custom armature. 204 x 182 x
66mm (8.0 x 7.25 x 2.5 inches) and 4.06 kilograms (9 pounds).
Estimate: $12,000-$14,000
34   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Sahara Desert, undisclosed location
As the meteorite from which this sphere was derived was found in the NWA 869 strewn field in the Sahara, it was believed to be a sample of NWA
869 when it was cut and placed into a sphere-making machine. This identification seems unlikely, however, as this meteorite looks...different (see
lot 49041). As NWA 869 is one of the largest showers of stone meteorites on record, many recovered specimens were subdivided and fashioned
into, among other things, spheres — something that, given the loss of material in the grinding process, would never occur if the meteorite were more
rare. With a dark homogenous ebony matrix dusted with countless flakes of metal, this is a handsome example of a common chondrite. 55 x 55 x
55mm (2.25 x 2.25 x 2.25 inches) and 368.2 grams (0.75 pounds).
Estimate: $850-$1,100

Chondrite — L4-6
Sahara Desert, undisclosed location
These spheres were part of the massive NWA 869 meteorite shower; a liberal sprinkling of sparkling metallic flakes accents the matrix whose hues
range from cream to chocolate. Advocates of Baoding Balls believe that the rotation of two balls in one hand stimulates the fingers’ nerve endings,
leading to increased circulation and energy flow (chí). Perhaps the knowledge that these spheres are the result of asteroids having smashed into one
another, with fragments directed into an Earth intersecting orbit, at a cosmic velocity of more than ten miles a second before burning through our
atmosphere, will help you relax more. Then again... 30 x 30 x 30mm (1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches) and 107.9 grams (0.25 pounds) each.
Estimate: $400-$600

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   35

Iron — IIIAB
Northern Territory, Australia — (24° 34’S, 133° 10’E)
Falling to Earth approximately 5,000 years ago, the Henbury
event is one of the greatest meteorite showers on record.
Originally discovered in 1931 following reports of Aborigines
using metallic stone tools, the Henbury event resulted in more
than one dozen distinct, documented meteorite craters. Among
the most prized iron meteorites, Aborigines refer to Henbury
fragments as “,” prompting
sociologists to wonder if the Henbury impact was a witnessed
event. Accompanied by a custom armature and a bright mango
patina that is distinctly that of a Henbury, this is a superior
example. 185 x 128 x 44mm (7.25 x 5 x 1.75 inches) and 3.07
kilograms (6.75 pounds).
Estimate: $3,500-$4,500

Iron — IIIAB
Northern Territory, Australia — (24° 34’S,
133° 10’E)
Similar to the previous lot, this complete slice
reveals the internal crystalline structure of a Henbury
meteorite — a latticework found only in select iron
meteorites. When the planetary body from which
this meteorite originated broke apart billions of
years ago, the hot, massive metallic core found
few molecules in the vacuum of space to which
it could transfer its heat, thus providing sufficient
time — millions of years — for the molecules of the
alloys, kamacite and taenite, to form their octahedral
crystalline habit. As there is no other environment
other than the vacuum of space that can provide
such an extended cooling curve, the presence of this
pattern, known as a Widmanstätten pattern, is diagnostic in the identification of a meteorite. The medium octahedral banding of Henbury meteorites
can be contrasted with that of other crystalline patterns (see lots 49045 and 49058). 251 x 138 x 3mm (10 x 5.33 x 0.1 inches) and 584.5 grams
(1.33 pounds).
Estimate: $1,750-$2,250
36   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Iron — UNGR
Cape Province, South Africa — (29° 23’S, 23° 6’E)
A most unusual 17-kilogram mass was found in 1960 on the De Hoek farm in Cape Province, South Africa. De Hoek is anomalous and shares
chemical and structural features with only one other meteorite. This complete slice — one of only a few available to the public — features a highly
polished matrix with De Hoek’s signature globular veins of troilite (iron sulfide). As indicated in the most recent Catalogue of Meteorites, the bible
of every meteorite documented prior to 2000, this offering is one of the largest specimens of De Hoek on record — apart from the main mass, which
is in the Geological Survey Museum in Pretoria. This is a notable offering of a matchless meteorite. 153 x 69 x 5mm (6 x 2.75 x 0.2 inches) and
319.74 grams (0.75 pounds).
Provenance: The Macovich Collection, New York City
Estimate: $13,000-$16,000

Iron — IIIAB
Santa Cruz, Argentina — (48° 35’S, 67° 25’W)
Recovered near the southern tip of Argentina, the Laguna Manantiales meteorite displays
some of the most exquisite crystalline structures of any iron meteorite — structures that
are handsomely framed in this particular partial slice. 28 x 23 x 3mm (1 x 1 x 0.1
inches) and 15.88 grams.
Estimate: $200-$300

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   37

Chondrite — L6
Normandy, France — (48° 46’N, 0° 38’E)
At 1:00 PM on April 26, 1803, l’Aigle forever became among the most historic meteorites. The popular acceptance that rocks could fall out of
the sky did not occur until French scientists embraced the l’Aigle phenomenon in Southern Normandy as indisputable fact — which they did. This
acceptance did not travel well to the New World; following news of the l’Aigle meteorite shower, Thomas Jefferson wrote to a friend, “I find nothing
surprising about the rain of stones in France. There are in France more real philosophers than in any country on Earth; but there are also a great
proportion of pseudo-philosophers there. The reason is the exuberant imagination of a Frenchman gives him greater facility of writing, and runs away
with his judgment unless he has a good stock of it. It even creates facts for him which never happened, and he tells them with good faith.”
In this instance, President Jefferson was mistaken. This particular “fact” is accompanied by two antique catalog cards dating from the specimen’s
inclusion in important German and Russian collections. The specimen itself bears an antique parchment label on which is written “Meteorite which
fell in l’Aigle in Normandy in a shower of 3000 April 1808 20(54).” The event occurred in 1803 and it would appear a “3” morphed into an “8” in
the source material used by the label’s author. A richly evocative example of one of the most important meteorites in history. 54 x 24 x 28mm (2.1
x 1 x 1.1 inches) and 74.4 grams.
Provenance: deaccessioned by the Russian Academy of Sciences in Kazan in an exchange with The Macovich Collection, New York City
Estimate: $13,000-$16,000

38   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Chondrite — L5
Wold Cottage, England — (54° 8’ 12”N, 0° 24’ 48”W)
Wold Cottage played a crucial role in the scientific community’s
acceptance that rocks could indeed fall from the sky. On December
13, 1795, Wold Cottage crashed to Earth yards from farmworker John
Shipley. Unfortunately, Shipley was the only witness to the event,
which proved insufficient to convince almost anyone as to what
occurred. Fortunately, Shipley’s boss and owner of the Wold Cottage
estate was well-known bon vivant Edward Topham. Topham had a
reputation as an honest man, which proved vital in swaying public
opinion in favor of accepting Shipley’s claim. Certain that the stone
was of import, Topham arranged to have Wold Cottage placed on
public exhibition in London. The scientific community took note,
especially after it compared favorably to a rock from a similar event
in Siena, Italy that occurred one year earlier. Prior to this time, such
events were either simply denied or explained away in much the
same way that Thomas Jefferson dismissed the l’Aigle event (see
previous lot). The fact that two stones from different localities had
common characteristics convinced many scientists of the stones’
possible extraterrestrial origins. Featuring a vein of impact melt arcing
across its creamy matrix and metallic flakes scattered throughout,
this is an uncommon offering of an extremely historic meteorite. 31
x 25 x 1mm (1.25 x 1 x 0.1 inches) and 3.21 grams.
Provenance: Natural History Museum, London (formerly the British
Museum of Natural History)
Estimate: $650-$800

Chondrite — UNGR, Carbonaceous chondrite — CV3; Chondrite — L6
(26° 58’N, 105° 19’W); coordinates unknown; (32° 6’ 9”N, 81° 52’ 22”W)
For a meteorite to be analyzed, one of the first things to occur is the preparation of thin sections. In a process
that is part craft and part art, material is mounted and ground down until it is so thin that light can pass through
the various structures. When backlit with white light, the texture, mineralogy, and crystalline morphology
of the sample become richly evident. As different minerals refract light differentially, when viewed through
polarized light, each mineral displays a vivid color. This lot contains a thin section of NWA 5717 prepared by
Steve Schoner — which contains some of the most primitive planetary material known (see lot 49008); a thin
section of NWA 5240 — a carbonaceous meteorite that contains CAIs (see lot 49004); and finally, an historic
thin section of Claxton, one of the most famous American meteorites, known for landing directly in — and
through — a mailbox in Claxton, Georgia. The thin section of Claxton is accompanied by packaging from
Andrew Graham of the British Museum of Natural History. Thin sections: average of 40 x 20 x 2mm. Claxton:
49 x 27 x 1mm (2 x 1 x 0.05 inches).


Estimate: $700-$900
Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   39

40   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

The following six lots are portions of the Moon authenticated by renowned
scientists. Lunar samples are readily identified by their highly specific geological, mineralogical, chemical and radiation signatures. Lunar minerals were
formed in a weak gravitational field, absence of water, with no free oxygen,
and have been altered through exposure to cosmic radiation. The minerals
comprising the Moon’s crust are limited. Lunar specimens contain gases originating from the solar wind with isotope ratios that are markedly different
than the same gases found on Earth (also as a result of cosmic radiation).
When asteroids strike the Moon’s surface, chunks of the Moon are launched
into space in much the same way that dust is launched into the air when a
child dives onto a bed. One merely needs to view the craters of the Moon to
imagine the number of asteroids whose impact would have provided sufficient energy to eclipse the Moon’s gravitational influence and launch surface
material into space.
Less than 0.1% of all meteorites recovered are lunar in origin, with less than
150 pounds of meteorites originating from the Moon known to exist. Lunar
meteorites are so scarce, and so difficult to identify, that not one example has
ever been found in Europe, or either of the American continents. Every single
lunar meteorite recovery to date has been from a desert where such meteorites are more readily identified (including the cold desert of Antarctica, where
precipitation is negligible).
Of the 79 distinct lunar meteorites known, 20 were found by scientists
searching in Antarctica. Owned by a consortium of countries, not one gram
of Antarctic material will ever be available to the private sector. (Nor will the
U.S. government ever release a single gram of the 380 kg of Moon rocks recovered by Apollo astronauts.)
Moving onto the fourth largest lunar meteorite known to exist, Dar al Gani
(DaG) 1058—the largest piece of the Moon to grace a public offering.

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   41



Lunar breccia — LUN
Libya — (27° 22’ 30”N, 16° 11’ 4”E)
Worthy of the most important natural history museums in the world, this is the fourth largest portion of the Moon available for private acquisition
(the Moon rock recoveries by Apollo Mission astronauts are not). Scientists have determined that DaG 1058 is a lunar highland breccia from the far
side of the Moon. Shaped like a large slab, DaG 1058 has the single largest surface area to mass ratio of any of the largest lunar meteorites — making
this peerless for exhibition purposes.
As was conveyed in the Introduction to Lunar Meteorites, lunar specimens are identified by geological, mineralogical, chemical, and radiation
signatures. These details, plus an analysis of the radiation level that identifies this specimen’s origin as the far side of the Moon, are described in
the scientific abstract in the Meteoritical Bulletin that accompanies this lot. The analysis was submitted by the scientist most renowned for lunar
meteorite classification, Dr. Anthony Irving at the University of Washington.
42   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit



Exhibiting numerous impact melt breccias, DaG 1058 was repeatedly pummeled by asteroids prior to being launched off the Moon’s surface. DaG
1058 is comprised primarily of mineral fragments, lithic clasts (95% of which are anorthositic), and a glassy matrix. DaG 1058 is paired to DaG 400,
the first lunar meteorite recognized to have fallen in Africa. (As these two meteorites were found in proximity to one another, they are believed to
have originated from the same event.) Split into halves to maximize the display of surface area, this is a matchless example of the most mesmerizing
object in the sky: the Moon. Total: 116 x 238 x 58mm (4.5 x 9.33 x 2.25 inches) and 1779.66 grams (3.92 pounds).
End Piece “A”: 116 x 231 x 35mm (4.5 x 9 x 1.4 inches) and 1096.47 grams (2.42 pounds)
End Piece “B”: 116 x 238 x 23mm (4.5 x 9.33 x 1 inches) and 683.19 grams (1.50 pounds)
Provenance: Offered by Anonymous Collector
Estimate: $340,000-$380,000

In the event Lot 49049 does not sell, the individual end pieces will be separately offered.
49050  DaG 1058 — End Piece “A”
116 x 231 x 35mm (4.5 x 9 x 1.4 inches) and 1096.47 grams (2.42 pounds)
Estimate: $260,000-$290,000
49051  DaG 1058 — End Piece “B”
116 x 238 x 23mm (4.5 x 9.33 x 1 inches) and 683.19 grams (1.50 pounds)
Estimate: $175,000-$200,000

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   43

Mingled Lunar Breccia — LUN
Dhofar, Oman — (18° 20’ 11”N, 53° 20’ 1”E)
At 10:30 a.m. on January 4, 2008 in the Persian Gulf State of
Oman, meteorite hunter Michael Farmer found what has since
been officially classified as a Moon rock.  It was a discovery
that Farmer was fortunate to have made: after deciding to
drive out of the desert and return to civilization to get some
gas, Farmer spotted an intriguing dark rock atop the desert
pavement (exposed ancient seabed). Originating from the
palm-sized meteorite recovered, this is one of the few complete
slices of Shis,r 160 that exists — the bulk of material has been
subdivided and distributed. The cut and polished surface
exhibits the characteristics of the finest brecciated Moon rocks:
suspended in the dark olivine-rich matrix are dozens of white
anorthositic inclusions. This complete slice of a lunar breccia
is accompanied by the scientific abstract published in the
Meteoritical Bulletin. 55 x 38 x 1mm (2.2 x 1.5 x 0.05 inches)
and 3.32 grams.
Estimate: $2,750-$3,500

Feldspathic Breccia from the Lunar Highlands — LUN
Morocco — coordinates unknown
Researchers have determined that asteroids pummeling the Moon in the early years of our solar system propelled chunks of the lunar surface
into outer space. Anything on the Moon’s surface that has been accelerated to the lunar escape velocity of 1.5 miles/second (approximately 3x
the muzzle velocity of a rifle) will escape the Moon’s gravitational influence — and, at times, find its way to Earth. As only 0.1% of all meteorites
are from the Moon, lunar meteorites are among the rarest naturally occurring substances on Earth. This is a small partial slice of NWA 5000, the
largest meteorite to have originated from the Moon’s lunar highlands. NWA 5000 is mineralogically and texturally unique among feldspathic lunar
meteorites, as it contains large fragments of metal. These fragments must have originated from an impact of an iron asteroid — one of several impacts
responsible for the repeated fragmentation and fusion of those fragments resulting in the gorgeous brecciation seen here. (To see another example
of metal injected into a substrate on impact, see lot 49019.) The scientific abstract on NWA 5000 accompanies this specimen. 24 x 23 x 4mm (1 x
1 x 0.2 inches) and 5.147 grams.
Estimate: $4,500-$5,500
44   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Lunar Mare — LUN
Sahara Desert at the Mali/Algeria Border — coordinates unknown
The Moon is perhaps the rarest naturally occurring substance on Earth, and now offered is the most aesthetic fragment. This natural, sculptural form
is the result of a lunar meteorite having fragmented on impact in the Sahara, after which it was naturally sandblasted by desert winds over countless
As can be discerned from the previous offerings, most lunar samples are breccias — but this singular example is not. NWA 6950 originates from the
Moon’s dark basaltic plains. It is among the youngest lunar materials known and among the most important Moon rocks discovered (see following
description). Found near the border between Mali and Algeria by nomadic Berbers in June 2011, NWA 6950 was purchased by a Moroccan dealer.
The scientific abstract in the Meteoritical Bulletin which documents NWA 6950’s lunar origins was authored by Dr. Anthony Irving, one of the
world’s foremost planetary experts, who also performed the classification work on, most notably, lots 49049 and 49086, (DaG 1058 and Tissint).
NWA 6950 consists primarily of basalt (volcanic rock) and cumulate olivine gabbro (dense greenish material that contains pyroxene, plagioclase
and amphibole) — which proves the Moon was volcanically active far longer than imagined. The plagioclase is partially converted to maskelynite, a
shock glass — and an elegantly thin filigree of shock veins coarses through the matrix. The presence of this otherworldly ornamentation is consistent
with the delivery mechanism of a large asteroid striking the lunar surface and launching material into outer space. This notable offering is the result
of a cataclysmic explosion on the Moon, a hard landing on Earth and the winds of the Sahara, and is the most naturally sublime lunar specimen
known. 47 x 61 x 41mm (1.75 x 2.5 x 1.66 inches) and 103.37 grams (0.23 pounds).
Provenance: The Macovich Collection, New York City
Estimate: $55,000-$70,000

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   45

Lunar Mare — LUN
Sahara Desert at the Mali/Algeria Border — 
coordinates unknown
Similar to the previous lot, this slice was removed from
another fragment of NWA 6950 — one less endowed than
the previous example, and suitable for subdivision. NWA
6950 contains, at 2.865 billion years of age, some of the
youngest lunar material known. An olivine gabbro, NWA
6950 is an intrusive igneous rock containing large amounts
of olivine that formed deep under the lunar crust or within
magma chambers of volcanoes. We know the gabbro
crystallized deep under the crust because of the large
grain/crystal size, which requires slow and steady cooling.
The existence of this material proves that the Moon was
volcanically active 2.8 billion years ago. This revelation
upended theories about the Moon, as it was believed the
Moon was already “dead” hundreds of millions of years
earlier. It has been argued that NWA 6950 is among the
most scientifically important lunar meteorites discovered,
and the present slice is an attractive representation. 68 x 38
x 1mm (2.66 x 1.5 x 0.1 inches) and 6.945 grams.
Provenance: The Macovich Collection, New York City
Estimate: $5,000-$6,500

Lunar Feldspathic Breccia — LUN
Algeria — coordinates unknown
This is a complete slice of a lunar meteorite: a piece
of the Moon ejected from the lunar surface following
an asteroid impact. The one-pound meteorite from
which this slice was derived was found in Algeria and
was purchased in Morocco in November 2005. The
scientific abstract on NWA 2995 in the Meteoritical
Bulletin accompanies this specimen. This is a lunar
feldspathic breccia, which is to say it contains feldspar
and is composed of angular fragments of older rocks
that have been melded together following repeated
impacts. This sample also contains geochemical
components that are specific to lunar breccias,
along with minute amounts of meteoritic nickeliron and veins of impact melt — all of which are
telltale evidence of both the specimen’s lunar origin
and the asteroidal impact responsible for launching
this sample to Earth. Moreover, the mineralogy and
structure of NWA 2995 is nearly indistinguishable
from several Moon rocks returned by Apollo Missions.
With classic off-white anorthositic inclusions, this is
a distinguished complete slice of the Moon for the
discerning collector. 83 x 52 x 1mm (3.25 x 2.1 x 0.1
inches) and 11.338 grams.
Estimate: $14,000-$16,000

46   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

Acapulcoite — ACAP
Morocco — (30° 36’N, 5° 3’W)
NWA 725 was originally classified as an
a rare subclass of meteorites.
Oxygen isotope analysis, however, resulted in it
being reclassified as something rarer still: one of
only 25 known winonaites. The existence of NWA
725 helped foster acceptance of the idea that
chondrules can exist in meteorites traditionally
classified as being achondritic (i.e., without
chondrules). This complete slice of a primitive
achondrite is not, in fact, achondritic — it’s full
of visible chondrules sprinkled in the meteorite’s
slate grey matrix. Winonaites are largely
composed of fine-grained Mg-rich pyroxene
with some olivine, plagioclase and troilite, and
Ni-Fe metal. Also referred to as metachondrites,
winonaites experienced extensive heating
that resulted in a depletion of trace elements
commonly associated with ordinary chondrites.
Difficult to obtain in any quantity, this is an
exceptional complete slice of a highly exotic and
sought after meteorite. 194 x 126 x 4mm (7.66 x
5 x 0.2 inches) and 195.28 grams (0.43 pounds).
Estimate: $10,000-$12,000

Iron, coarse octahedrite — IC
Sonora, Mexico — (30° 20’N, 109° 59’W)
Arispe was discovered in 1898 by mescaleros (an Apache Indian tribe) in Sonora, Mexico
immediately south of Arizona. Believing it to be some kind of silver ore, the discoverers
hid their 680 kilogram find — only to have it stolen by another party. After a great deal of
legal conflict, a wealthy Mexican acquired the meteorite. Testing the rock for silver and
discovering none, he believed Arispe to be worthless and set it aside. Its extraterrestrial
origin was not revealed until a visiting mining expert recognized Arispe as an iron
meteorite. Featuring a silver-grey coarse octahedral structure with troilite inclusions. 53
x 30 x 3mm (2 x 1.25 x 0.1 inches) and 34.66 grams.
Estimate: $550-$700

Auction #6089 | Sunday, October 14, 2012 | 3:30PM ET   47

Pallasite — PAL
Conception Junction, MO — (40° 16’N, 94° 41’W)
Discovered as a result of the community outreach efforts on the part of meteorite hunter Karl Aston, this complete pallasite slice was cut from a
meteorite found protruding from a hillside near Conception Junction, Missouri. The exterior of the meteorite was weathered, while the interior
showed only minor oxidation. Classified in 2011 by UCLA’s Dr. John Wasson, the world’s foremost authority on iron and stony-iron meteorites,
Conception Junction is chemically and morphologically unique among pallasites — the olivine is primarily circular and unusually plentiful.
Following the quiet acquisition of the 17 kilogram mass from the landowner, a 16-month search of the surrounding area ensued for additional
specimens — which turned out to be fruitless.
Accompanying this lot is the November 2011 issue of Meteorite, in which this specimen is featured on the cover, as well as a detailed monograph
written on Conception Junction by Dave Gheesling, curator of the Falling Rocks and Back Plate meteorite collections. This is the largest complete
slice of an eminent American pallasite. 229 x 197 x 7mm (9 x 7.75 x 0.25 inches) and 872.96 grams (1.9 pounds).
Estimate: $20,000-$22,500

48   To view full descriptions, enlargeable images and bid online, visit

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